Story file
Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page

The Usher

by Branden Rishel and Daphne Gabrieli


(based on 2 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

You are Lalu, a young woman who is buried alive—entombed. Your job is to lead the dead queen to the afterlife in this multi-dimensional tale of escape.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: February 2, 2010
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
IFID: 4161BD73-1C8B-4649-8599-2FD347770E37
TUID: 4jeukgllc1u8smaz


8th Place - Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7

Editorial Reviews

Jay Is Games
While the Usher features some of the strongest writing in a competition bursting with great writers, the tone is not quite consistent. The writing would have me really feeling the doomed melancholy of Lalu's inevitable death, and then it would throw me a line about making the passage to the afterlife as "smooth as a laxative". [...] To some extent it only itches because the writing is excellent. The parser, too, is top-notch, especially considering that this is the first game by both designers.
See the full review


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
Write a review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Casual suicide-related fun, June 10, 2011
by Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.)

The Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7 must have produced a lot of very good games if this one finished eighth. (I've also played Party Foul by Brooks Reeves, and really enjoyed that; it came in fourth).

As the blurb says, you're buried alive with your dead queen. It's your job to perform some rituals to lead the queen to the afterlife, and then kill yourself as well. From this premise and the cover art, you might expect this to be meditative and brooding, but no, the setting is pure gonzo fantasy, and silliness abounds: the king is Stanley, his pet is called Bobo, and there's a god named Larry. It's ostensibly a one-room escape game, but there are actually two rooms. Maybe that's why it finished eighth. The puzzles are fair and solvable (if sometimes a bit uninspired or baffling), everything is implemented, it is polite and forgiving, and the writing nicely evokes the combination of absurdity and dread that the PC is experiencing. It's a solid first effort from the two authors.

I had a few minor problems. The puzzles, as mentioned, were all very reasonable, but none stood out as particularly clever. The (Spoiler - click to show)potion-making puzzle was reminiscent of the sorts of problems you solve in the analytical portion of the GRE, only simpler. From an in-game standpoint, the puzzle makes little sense; its only real purpose is to add a couple of minutes to the play experience.

I didn't really understand the mechanics of the (Spoiler - click to show)climbing puzzle. I have to drop everything before climbing a railing, and then from there I can climb onto a lintel; that much makes sense. But how has my rope magically made its way up to the lintel with me?

Finally, I must say I was confused by the ending. I honestly can't tell you what happened, or how it relates to the goal I thought I was pursuing. But it seemed to be a winning ending, and I couldn't find another one other than dying (and reading the walkthrough, it seems like I did what was intended).

That said, I enjoyed it, and I'd definitely play the authors' next game.

If you enjoyed The Usher...

Related Games

People who like The Usher also gave high ratings to these games:

A Day in Hell, by Madglee
Average member rating: (6 ratings)
This story revolves around Matt, a man living under the yoke of his female roommate.

Inside Woman, by Andy Phillips
Average member rating: (14 ratings)
Utopia Technologies. Industrial giant, economic powerhouse, the world's greatest scientific superpower, and the organisation most responsible for eroding civil liberties and personal freedoms. They're an all-powerful capitalist...

Lore Distance Relationship, by Naomi "Bez" Norbez
Average member rating: (11 ratings)
Follow user StaircaseHaven14 on a Neopets-esque site called Ruffians as she faces life's challenges, RPs with her long-distance BFF (or more than BFF?) Bee, and encounters familial hardship, from age 8 to 18.

Suggest a game

This is version 4 of this page, edited by Zape on 30 July 2020 at 10:11am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item